Butterflies of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest : biological inventory and ecological analysis Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cc08hk05q

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  • A biological inventory of the butterflies of the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest [HJA] in Linn/Lane County, Oregon was conducted during 1994 and 1995. It was the first comprehensive survey of HJA butterflies for the site and serves as a baseline for future butterfly research. A detailed ecological account is provided for each species documented during this and previous studies from the HJA. Patterns of butterfly richness and abundance are addressed both temporally and spatially. Within-year and between year differences in butterfly richness and abundance are explained. Butterfly richness and abundance were compared between forest, clear-cut, and meadow habitats, as well as along the roads within these habitats. Butterfly richness and abundance comparisons were also made between local butterfly hotspots and immediately adjacent areas. Lastly, the HJA butterfly fauna was compared to those of five other Oregon sites to put it into a regional perspective. Seventy-two species were recorded during this two year period and increased the total documented butterfly fauna of the HJA to seventy-nine species. Butterfly species richness was high from June through early August. Butterfly abundance increased gradually over the season and peaked in early August. Each butterfly species displayed one of four patterns of combined relative abundance and distribution: common and widespread, rare and local, common only at low elevations or common only at high elevations. The results of standardized butterfly counts suggested that subalpine meadows were much higher than clear-cuts or forests in butterfly richness and abundance, and that roads served to increase butterfly richness and abundance on a local scale in most cases. Butterfly hotspots on the HJA appear as relatively small areas of high butterfly richness and abundance and have a correspondingly high number of plant species when compared to adjacent areas. With virtually one-half of all butterfly species known for the state of Oregon, the HJA ranks among the most species-rich locations for its size within the state. This diversity originates from several biogeographical regions of origin, as defined within this study. A total of 31 HJA species have a generalized Western North American distribution, but several other biogeographical regions are also well represented. Some butterfly species appear to be at or near their geographical limits on the HJA. The assemblage of HJA butterfly species is virtually inclusive of those from Mary's Peak and McDonald Forest in northwestern Oregon, whereas it differs by 30% or more from the more biogeographically distinct faunas of Crater Lake National Park, Mount Ashland and Steens Mountain. Future butterfly work on the HJA is recommended. Oregon butterfly distribution maps suggest that several additional butterfly species should be found there. More biogeographical analyses combined with long term monitoring of HJA butterflies could help to both predict and document changes in the Pacific Northwest butterfly fauna due to human disturbance and global climate change.
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